When to use a Dog Harness Vs Collar

Posted by Mirage Pet Products on 2/20/2020
When to use a Dog Harness Vs Collar

When to Use a Dog Harness vs. a Dog Collar

Who wants to go for a walk? The odds are good that your dog does, at least once a day, sometimes twice. You have probably caught your own pet scratching the door at odd hours, hoping to be let out. They know what is best for them. Taking dogs outside gives them fresh air, exercise, and stimulation — not to mention an opportunity to do their business.

Although they will appreciate being allowed outside, you should not let them go out without a way to keep them close. Leashes are a gentle way of asserting your authority. However, they are really only half of the method. You can choose to attach the leash to a traditional collar or a dog harness, which can each create a different walking experience for your pet. Here is some information on their benefits, disadvantages, and differences in general.


If you do not want your dog to flip out and run amok when you let them outside, you need to control their behavior. This will require training them to understand that when you pull on the leash, they need to slow down or chill out. It may be uncomfortable for your pal, so you should strive to make it as easy for them as possible while still being effective.

With all of the tugging that will inevitably happen during these sessions, collars may not be the best option. Instead, it may be something to which they graduate after working with a harness at first. Harnesses can give owners greater control over without putting too much pressure on their pet. Collars, in contrast, apply a lot of force on their neck.

This is not so bad in smaller doses, but the strain of training may increase the pain and worsen their disdain for that control. You will want to make sure that training can go smoothly, and collars are riskier for that than harnesses.

Big and Small Dogs

All dogs may be of the same species, but Canis familiaris encompasses a diverse variety of breeds. Among the many ways they vary is in size, which may range from the miniscule Chihuahua to the enormous Great Dane. Each breed has its own needs, and you must consider that when you try to decide which form of control would be most effective.

According to Whole Dog Journal, “Dog harnesses tend to come in a greater variety of sizes than collars; there may be better options for extra small or extra large dogs.” They go on to suggest that you may have an easier time finding a harness that fits “super tiny dogs” than a collar. Something they do not mention is that smaller dogs’s necks may be more susceptible to pain from constant collar-pulling.

Dogs of a more mid-range size may not have as much trouble with collars, especially if they have thicker necks. However big or small your pet may be, you should find something that fits their body type without being too tight. Naturally, it should not be too loose either, lest they shake it off or slip out.

Length of Use

Some people only make their canine companions wear collars or harnesses when they prepare to take a walk. Other pet owners leave them on at all times of the day — minus, perhaps, that much-dreaded moment known as bathtime. They may do so out of convenience, or because they inscribed the article with contact information in case the dog slips away.

Keeping your dog collared all day is not usually a problem. You just need to make sure that you do not use a collar that relies on negative reinforcement. With those collars, your pet may feel uncomfortable, even when the leash is unattached. If the collar is lighter and unconstricting, they may be just fine.

Harnesses, on the other hand, were not designed for long-term use. They are fine enough for the brief time you and your pet are outdoors, but indoor use can be irritating. The collar only goes around the neck, while the harness may wrap around a significant portion of their body. If you see your dog biting or scratching at it, listen to them and just take it off. The same, by the way, goes for collars.

Comfort and Freedom

On that note, some dogs will simply never like a harness. As domesticated as the species may be, they are still animals who are more accustomed to wearing nothing at all. Moreover, members of fluffier breeds may also feel that the straps tamp down their fur too much. Even with all the benefits that harnesses have, your canine may still find it too constricting for their taste. It is not you; it is them, and that is totally normal.

In these cases, the collar may be a better choice after all. It has its own negatives, naturally, and your pet would still be wearing something. However, a band around their neck is much less noticeable than a whole harness. When your dog is well-trained and more responsive to your calls and leash tugs, the collar may ultimately feel more freeing. It is important for you to have control, of course, but it is also important for them to feel that they have room to breathe as well.

Ultimately, you just need to know your dog. Listen to them, pay attention, and observe when they seem uncomfortable. Try not to tug too hard on the leash, especially in training. Most of all, and whether you use a harness or a collar, strive for positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement. They will show you which control method they prefer.

Order a Dog Harness or Collar Online

The dog harness and the dog collar both have their strengths and weaknesses. Whichever you decide to use, you can find high-quality samples right here at Mirage Pet Products. You can find step-in dog harnesses and Crystal Comfort dog harnesses in our inventory. We also offer a variety of collars made from materials like nylon and leather and decorated with punk spikes and even bling. Visit us today and discover the sheer variety of collars and harnesses you could use.